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The Dreaded Work Pot Luck

  • b

I'm supposed to be bringing an 'entree' to a work pot luck tomorrow and I'm completely stumped as to what to bring.

Here are the specifics:

-10 or so people
-Limited fridge space
-NO oven/stovetop available

I'm thinking this will almost have to be a crock pot dish, but my mind is not giving me any ideas.

Initial thoughts are:

1) Soup, stew, chili. All could be made tonight, transferred to the crock and easily reheated tomorrow.

2) Pulled pork or beef. Make the roast overnight, shred in the morning, let sit in juices, BBQ sauce, etc.

Any and all ideas are welcome (along with recipes, if possible).


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  1. This is supposed to be served at room temperature

    Pizza Salad

    8 oz. salad macaroni
    any deli-type meat you like
    3 tomatoes (chopped)
    1/4 lb. cheese (cubed small) use Mozzarella, sharp, whatever you like
    1 smallish red or yellow onion (chopped fine)
    Mix the cooked and cooled macaroni with the cheese, tomato, onion. Add dressing:

    1/2 cup salad oil
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 clove garlic mashed
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan

    Let flavors marry at least 1 hour+

    I usually add more cheese and less salt--also, it's much better cool/room temperature than straight out of fridge.

    1. Make a crockpot Chicken and dressing...you can buy a pre-cooked chicken, layer is with some dressing you've mixed up and some gravy and VOILA, an easy, tasty Thanksgiving treat.


      Quiche or a fritatta is always a hit!

      1. A huge antipasto-pasta salad:
        Cooked shells
        kidney & garbanzo beans
        cubes of salami
        marinated mushrooms
        ditto artichoke hearts
        cubed mozzarella cheese
        cubed tomatoes (add at party site so they don't leach liquid into the salad)
        sliced celery
        chopped green onions
        Italian Dressing or pesto vinaigrette of choice
        Huge bowl, proportions to your preference; toss, serve at room temp.

        I like the pulled pork idea too - which you can also do with chicken, if you have concerns about people who might not care to parttake of the swine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamachef

          I like the pasta salad idea. Maybe leave out the salami for a vegetarian dish. Easy to prepare & easy to transport

        2. If you want to go easy, Costco frozen Italian meatballs in the crockpot with a good bbq sauce like Sweet Baby Rays. There's never any left, people love 'em. It will be a nice hot dish different from the quarts of Albertson's potato/mac salad that some will bring and the still 3/4 frozen shrimp ring thingee's.

          1 Reply
          1. Nice of your employer to have you set up with such flexible kitchen/eating space. Geez, you are lucky if you can bring Subway sandwiches. Actually, maybe you should consider it -- not kidding.

            1. This is one of my favorite pot luck dishes. It's not as easy as meatballs and bbq sauce, but it does tend to wow a group. So if your up for it, give it a try. This recipe is far from fiery but well seasoned.

              Spicy braised Pork(or Beef original recipe called for lamb shanks)
              Prep time 5 minutes
              cooking time 20 minutes
              baking time 2 to 3 hours

              1/3 cup all purpose flour
              1 1/2 tsp curry powder
              1 tsp cinnamon
              1/2 tsp ground all spice
              1/2 salt
              4 lbs of meat
              2 Tbsp oil
              Mix dry ingredients together. Cube the meat and coat n flour mixture. Brown in batches using the oil.
              In an oven proof dish, cook 1 large diced onion, 1 cup chopped carrots and 3 garlic cloves sliced. Add remaining flour mixture and meat. Pour 1/4 of cognac and careful light. Once the flames go out add

              156 ml can of tomato paste
              2 cups of chicken broth
              1 tsp hot chili flakes
              1 tsp fennel seeds
              1 bay leaf

              Set oven to 350 F. Return mixture on the stove to a boil stirring until all the ingredients are well combined. Stick it in the oven for 2 to 3 hours. Put it in the crock pot to serve at the pot luck.

              1. How about buying a couple baguettes and assembling hoagies from a variety of cheeses, shredded lettuce, sliced onion, pepperoncini, tomato, etc etc? It's pretty festive, and easy to do without kitchen facilities. My teen years in Philadelphia recommend a vinaigrette with oregano as dressing.

                1. I like the pasta salad ideas. And actually, regarding fridge space, we probably won't get above freezing tomorrow in Minnesota, so I could just leave any fridge worthy items in my car until lunch time.

                  A recipe from my mom that just came to me, is very relevant given the season. She will roast a turkey, shred it, and put in the crock pot with stuffing and Italian sausage. You can serve that on a roll, on a plate or out of a shoe and I'd eat it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BigE

                    MY that sounds good--is there any liquid involved, though?

                  2. Super easy: Cut up kielbasa into small serving chunks (about the size of party meatballs). Toss with brown sugar (about 1/3 cup per pound, but really, it's a matter of taste). Cook on stove until brown sugar forms a glaze. Taste and add more if necessary. Let sit in a crockpot on low for a few hours and serve.

                    I had this at a youth chorus potluck and was surprised how delicious--definitely better than the sum of its parts.

                    1. tamatar khabli chana usal. extra bonus points for being vegan and delish!